Summer Grilled Pizza

There's something about summer that makes me want to do all my cooking outdoors. In fall & winter I can't get enough of my dutch oven and warm kitchen stove, but come summer those fall favorites begin to collect dust and I trade my indoor sanctuary for outdoor air. One of my favorite things to make is homemade pizza, it's just so simple & delicious.  But just the thought of lighting up my oven to max temp in a 900 sq ft. space during the heat of summer makes me start to sweat. I don't think that I love anything more than wood fired pizza, it's just so darn delicious. I'm trying to convince my husband to build me a brick pizza oven at our new home, but I think for now that will remain a dream.  In the meantime, firing up the grill is a perfect alternative to wood fired and you don't have to heat your house up to sweltering temps, which is always a plus. 

Rather than type out an entire recipe for this pizza project, I am going to simply link you to the recipes I used. At this point in my life I don't have the time or energy to spend developing recipes of my own. I struggled with the thought of this, feeling like I was letting myself down. Like I was failing at the concept of what I wanted this space to be. But then I realized that it didn't matter, rarely do things ever turn out the way we imagine them to be and learning to roll with the way things are, rather than the way we imagined them to be is so important! 

For the dough, I used a simple (I mean SIMPLE) recipe that is so perfect for when you are in a time pinch, or simply don't want to spend a ton of time in the kitchen. That recipe is here! I used a single recipe, which made the four dough balls you see below, but you can easily double it if you need more. If you want to go a healthier route, you could use this recipe which uses sourdough starter. 

I did several different topping's: sausage + onion / tomato + basil /  tomato, onion + pepperoni. For the tomatoes ones I used and ordinary tomato pizza sauce from the store. My favorite is Classico since it comes in a jar which is healthier than canned and easier to save. You could also make your own, but that's a whole other thing. For the sausage pizza, I used a garlic white sauce which was really easy to make & tasted good. You can find that recipe here! The only thing I did differently from the original recipe was not roast my garlic. I just let it cook in the butter. 

Pre-heat your grill to 500 degrees. You want to get it really nice and toasty! Cut your dough into four equal sized pieces, shape into balls and let rest under a towel while you prepare your toppings. I found the dough much easier to grill by making multiple small pizza's rather than one large. Mine were somewhere between 6" & 8" I didn't measure.

Flatten & stretch your dough ball into a thin crust pizza, be sure to make it thinner than you actually want because they will puff up on the grill! These don't need to be perfectly round, the more uneaven the prettier. 

Brush both sides of your dough with olive oil before grilling. 

After I brushed my dough with olive oil I placed it on a cookie sheet to transfer to the great outdoors. Place the pizza directly on the preheated grill and cook 1-2 minutes on each side until you have decent grill marks and the crust is firmed up. They don't need to be completely cooked, but enough that you can handle them easily. Once all of your crusts are grilled transfer them back to the cookie sheet and bring back inside, you are now ready for toppings. {Note: all of the steps thus far can be done ahead of time, which would make the process a whole lot easier if you plan to serve a large number of people. Pizza party anyone!?} 

Once all your toppings are on the pizza's they are ready to be returned to the grill. You'll want to make sure that your grill isn't too hot where it will burn the crust before the toppings get bubbly. This depends on your grill, but I would say anywhere between 350-400 degrees is a good number to shoot for, but you just have to figure out what works with your grill. I turned off my center burner and worked with a little indirect heat at one point, which seemed to work. Also, once you get the temperature right try to keep the lid of your grill closed so that the top of the pizza/ cheese browns. Mine cooked for around 10-15 min. But make sure you keep a close eye! 

Done pizza! So crispy and delicious! 

Slice it up and set it out for self-serve. It's best to eat immediately, so make sure your ready & enjoy!  


Happy summer!